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Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria

Painting, 1630-th

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria»

"Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria"one of the most brilliant of recent works by Anthony van Dyck. It is the author's version of the painting, written in 1636 – 1637 for cardinal Francesco Barberini. Henrietta Maria, wife of king Charles I of England, reputedly, were not the most attractive woman because of his prominent teeth. Despite this, the artist has managed to endow the model natural beauty.

The Queen appeared before the audience in a simple, elegant saffron-yellow dress with wide lace collar and cuffs. Her gaze and pose is no arrogance, despite the status; the only hint of a high position – a small Royal crown on the table on the left. The position of the hands of Henrietta Maria just below the waist with palms up, one on top of another, implies that she is expecting a sixth child, Princess Anna.

Henrietta Maria was the daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici married the future king Charles I at the age of 15 years. It was an unprecedented case when the Princess is Catholic, married his heir to a Protestant. However, this Union was a happy one – the monarch often listened to the opinion of his wife, and she bore him nine children (of whom seven survived). During the English revolution the Royal family was expelled from the country, and Karl executed. On hearing this, Henrietta Maria for the rest of my life wearing a simple black dress. In England she returned only after the Restoration, when the throne sat her son Charles II.

The Queen of the van Dyck was bought in the late eighteenth centuryThe 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746 – 1816), an avid collector of portraits. This aristocrat Georgian eventually went bankrupt, having spent about 100 thousand pounds for bringing order to your old castle inside and out. Apparently, the collector is not satisfied that the Queen was written in only three quarters, and decided to make a full-sized portrait. For this, he allegedly turned to anyone else, as the first President of the Royal Academy of painting, sir Joshua Reynolds. The added fragments with bright green curtain, classic column and tablecloth deep red (see supplementary illustration).

In the end, the painting took the place on the wall to the Cedar lounge. The count wrote in a 1775 letter to the portraitGeorge Romney with a request to create a piece worthy of hanging in front of his precious acquisition. The artist, who is an aristocrat paid a trip abroad, made the period a few paintings for his patron. Among them were portrait of Countessthat may have been intended to work with a bright image of the Queen, written hundreds of years earlier.

In 2015, the company entertainment Merlin Entertainments, Warwick castle management decided to sell "Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria", who was there for over 220 years. Sotheby's auction house estimated the work of van Dyck in 1,5 – 2,5 million pounds (about 2.2 – $ 3.7 million). It was acquired by an American collector, who then took out pieces of cloth, attached to the XVIII century.

This act has caused controversy. "Since then, the painting was taken out from the safe walls of the stone castle, all evidence of its historical ties with Warwick gone [...] the Desire to identify the original intention of van Dyck is understandable, but these subsequent additions (possibly made by Reynolds) has been an integral part of the history of paintings and its Association with Warwick castle. In the end, the picture was full-length longer than the original," wrote the British art critic Adam Bosakevich.

But his colleague Bendor Grosvenor thought otherwise: "it May seem shocking, but actually I think it was right. These additions are not particularly consistent with [the original], but slightly incorrect proportions gave the feeling that the Queen stands on stilts. It is worth considering that if van dyke had originally conceived the painting as a full-sized, he would have adjusted the angle based on exactly how the Queen will look with different heights and perspectives." In addition, the expert doubts that the changes were made by Reynolds.

Company Merlin Entertainment, whose income in 2017 exceeded 1.5 billion pounds, hung in the Cedar living Warwick castle quality reproduction of "portrait of Henrietta Maria" full-length, lacquered. This oleograph, Bosakevich called "clear and simple deception."

Author: Vlad Maslov
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Baroque

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1630-th

Artwork in selections: 11 selections